The Federal Aviation Administration announced this afternoon that it would delay the closure of 149 air-traffic control towers until June 15. The FAA had planned to start the process Sunday, as part of the budget cuts forced by the sequestration measure passed by Congress.
"After the list was released on March 22, airports in Washington, Indiana and Florida filed a lawsuit to block the closures, contending that the FAA had not done proper studies before deciding to shut down the towers, which are run by FAA contractors," Lori Aratani reports for The Washington Post. "More than 1,000 contract air traffic controllers were expected to lose their jobs as a result of the closures."
Aratani adds, "FAA officials said authorities at about 50 airports and others with ties to the targeted airports said they would examine whether they could assume financial responsibility for operating the towers. By delaying the closures, FAA officials said they would work with the entities to make those transitions." (Read more)